happiness

Is Your Phone More Recharged Than You Are? 8 Ways to Get Your Missing Energy Back

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If I were to ask you how often you recharged your phone, you'd probably reply with "twice a day" (if you're an iPhone user).  But, if I were to ask you how often you recharged yourself, you'd most likely reply with "does sleep count?". Recharging ourselves isn't something we tend to think much about.  We're not taught about it as kids and no one really talks about it.  It's not something that we had to think even half as much about just 10 years ago.  If we were tired, we rested.  Tiredness and exhaustion were mostly just physical.  Now, it's primarily mental, and in a lot of cases, emotional.  With technology and a direct connection to the world in our hands, there's no time to really switch off to allow our mind and nervous system to quieten.

Somewhere along the line, we started to value our techs to be more recharged than our bodies.  Tirdness is now a bit of an inconvenience.  We've become more tuned into the outside world than ourselves.  We're tuned into the alerts on our phones more than the alerts of our bodies.  Now, I'm not saying to bin the devices all together, no, not at all.  I love my phone, and these days we need them.  I'm just trying to convey the need to put the phone down every now and then, and truly take the break our mind and body need.

I had to learn the above the hard way.  Stressed and anxious from my corporate job (amongst other things), denying my dream career aspirations and, quite frankly, wasting hours a day on 'the scroll'.  My anxiety was so bad that every day was a struggle that I tried so hard to hide!  Things had to dramatically change.  So, I set out to recharge, learnt to put my health first and developed a kick-ass self-care/love routine.

Get Your FREE Gratitude Workbook Here

So, here's my (tried and tested) top 8 ways to fully recharge and start to get that missing energy back:

Sleep:

To answer your hypothetical response above.  Yes, sleep does count, and a lot!  But only if you're getting the right kind of sleep.  This is around 8 hours of non-inertupted sleep and waking before your alarm.  While this is common knowledge, sleep has lost favour.  There's Facebook and Instagram scrolling, Netflix, more condensed living, working later hours and weekends, eating later and even more scrolling, that all get in the way of a quality night's sleep.  Once upon a time it was only the neighbour's dog who woke us up, now it's our friend-from-high-school's-amazing-Italian-holiday that you're totally jealous of you've been lurking.

Soak it Up:

Get at least an hour by yourself and have a hot bath.  Get out your bath salts, candles, essential oils and a quality book.  No techs allowed.  Take the full hour to really switch off and relax.  Besides, who doesn't feel better after a good bath!

Get Active:

Get those endorphins pumping and sweat the stress away.  Stress hormones wreak havoc on our nervous system and majorly contribute to us feeling worn down.  Ever feel more exhausted from a day's work than you do an intense work out?  This is why.  While exercise puts physical stress on the body at the time, it's coupled with 'feel good' hormones that help the body clear out the stress, as well as pump much needed oxygen to your organs.  You want to get out and burn up all of that excess adrenaline.  Not only will you feel better after, you'll sleep better too!

Ground Yourself:

When I first heard about "earthing" I thought it was a bit of BS, then I really thought about it and I realised my bare feet had not even touched the earth in over a year. A YEAR! Apartment living certainly makes getting out and into nature harder, but the more reason to do so.  We all grew up playing in the backyard bare foot (remember stepping on bindies in summer, ouch!).  Take a walk in the park or on the beach, and if you're lucky enough to still have a backyard, collect the washing bare foot.  Feel those relaxing negative ions and get a bonus foot massage while you're at it!

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Probably my favourite tool in the box and one of the most misunderstood and under utilised skills there is!  If I could package and sell in a pill "total relaxation, calmness, greater clarity, more energy, understanding, compassion and acceptance with no side-effects and completely natural", I'd be seriously loaded.  Loaded.  Everyone would lap that up!  But it's free people and you can try it right now!  It's literally as easy as googling "guided relaxation meditation" into YouTube.

Find my Monday Meditation series here.

Because we're not taught meditation as children, we resist it as adults.  It seems weird, out-there and unnecessary.  People also tend to think that they don't have time to meditate.  In the words of Gabby Bernstein, "so you've got time to feel like shit instead then?".  10 minutes a day is all you need to totally turn your stress around!  Also, meditation doesn't have to be spiritual at all, think of it as a simple mind reset.

Digital Detox:

This is a big one!  We spend so much time on our (fully charged) devices, and probably one of the main reasons why we're so drained, that we find it so hard to put them aside.  But once you start to break the click and scroll habit, it becomes so much easier.  Sleep with your phone on flight mode.  Get an old school radio alarm clock and have no phones in your bedroom (remember waking up to breakfast radio..).  Turn the TV off an hour before bed.  Have an email cut off time (I suggest from the time you start dinner) and don't use your laptop in bed.  All of these things can assist in breaking the technology dependancy and the mindless scroll.

Take Regular Breaks/Holidays/Long Weekend:

If you need a day off, take it.  Plan an annual leave day and take a long weekend.  Get away, or stay in.  Sleep in.  It's what your annual leave is there for!  Take a holiday.  Got no-one to travel with?  Do a tour or retreat.  The simple act of getting on a plane and feeling far away from your 'problems' can do amazing things for your nervous system (I should know, I just did this.  Hello spontaneous trip to New York).  Don't really run from your problems, but do take a break when you need it.  Airfares have never been so cheap ;-).

Pamper Yourself:

Don't be afraid to spend a little cash on treating yourself.  Get a monthly massage, pedicure, floatation tank session, facial, lovely dinner, hot springs visit.. whatever brings you relaxation.  While I don't recommend spending all your monies on #treatyoself, I do suggest that you put yourself first and enjoy your money, especially if it's assisting your healing.  I personally get regular massages.  I need them, I carry stress in my shoulders and I spend 8 hours a day on a computer, so I don't feel guilty about spending the cash as I see it as a necessity.  So find what really assists your recovery and budget it in.

I hope these tips help bring some calm and zen back into your life.  If you've got other recharge tips or tricks, comment them below, i'd love to hear (and try) them!

xSx

Get Your FREE Gratitude Workbook here

MONDAY MEDITATION | The only 2 things you really ever need

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So often we find ourselves caught up in everything that is going on around us, that we forget the most important thing, we're here and we're alive and kicking.  It's so cliché, I know, and probably sounds woo-woo and weird to think about, but once we take the moment to centre in and feel our breath and heartbeat, we calm all the way down and remember that we have everything we needed after all.  In this week's video, I go into how I tap in and feel grounded and get sh*t done.  

https://youtu.be/lr-GOcmjUk8

MONDAY MEDITATION | Want to make the right choice every time?

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'Intuition' is this word that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what really is it?  If you think of a gut-feeling or just a knowing that you've had, then you would be on the money.  Our intuition is the inner knowing or understanding that comes through that we often times cannot explain.  In this week's video I touch on how we can tap into this knowing and make guided choices any time. https://youtu.be/4ewnuwQ76Jo

Recipe: Raw Choc Almond Bites

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I'll be honest, using chocolate molds with clean/raw chocolate just isn't working out for me.  The chocolate breaks, gets stuck in the mould and it's messy.  So, to avoid the failed-chocolate-mould mess, I made these chocolate bites, or blobs.. which ever name you prefer.  They're not real pretty, but they sure did taste great.  I did actually make more, however my Dad got to them before I had a chance to photograph them! Ingredients

  • Coconut oil
  • Raw Cacao
  • Coconut Nectar
  • Almond Shaves
  • Desiccated Coconut

Method

My standard chocolate mix method (you can find a detailed description here)

Mix it all together, blob on baking paper and freezer set.

This one is extra great for the kids as its just a handful of ingredients, a bowl, spoon and baking paper.

Turns Out, You Actually Are Creative

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Creativity is traditionally something that we equate to the arts, however I believe that we are all creatives.  We all have something within us that we wish to express.  Creativity after all, is simply CREATION.   Creativity is anything where we can express ourselves, our thoughts and ideas in whatever physical manifestation that they take form. I truely believe that without creativity, without ideas and creation and most importantly, without expression, we suffer.   We suffer in our health from being stifled and unexpressed, our relationships suffer from a feeling of unfulfilment and we could even be missing out on great financial opportunities.  We ignore those expressive skills that we received so much joy from as children.  We used to tell and write stories, we played imaginary, we invented games, we drew all afternoon long (ok, Mum I admit it.. it was me who drew the horse on the wardrobe door and not dolly.. but you have to admit, it was pretty good for a 3yr old.  It did look like a horse, right?) and we made 'music' (most neighbours probably wish we didn't bang those pots and pans so loudly).  The world was this magical place where anything could happen.  Now the world is this place where we work hard to pay bills and maybe take 2 weeks off in winter to travel somewhere warm.  Pretty miserable, right?!

Self-expression is a birth right.  We are all individual and we all deserve to let our thoughts and ideas out and into the world.  If writing is your thing, start that blog.  If you enjoy drawing, buy a sketch book.  Let your ideas flow out on that paper.  Not only will you be expressing your ideas and feelings, you'll also feel a sense of accomplishment for creating something.  Sitting back and listening to that music you created on your laptop or watching that video you learned to edit through iMovie, will bring you so much pride and satisfaction.   Give yourself permission to allow an hour for yourself to create, you just never know what it might evolve into.

xSx

Recipe: Raw Glow Bars

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These are soooooo good!  I needed something to cut my serious chocolate habit.  My office has a chocolate biscuit genie somewhere, because our never ending Tim Tam supply is in full force!  Come 2pm all I can think about it my next chocolate hit.  Chocolate is my drug, it's ridiculous.  So I knew I had to make something super delicious to cut this hardcore habit.  And I did!  3 days in and I am only 1 Monte Carlo down #winning. My Raw Glow Bar recipe is:

Ingredients

Large handful of Medjool Dates (soaked for a couple of hours)

1 handful of Almond shaves

1 handful of crumbled bran

Chia seeds

Raw cacao (to taste)

1 handful of Buckwheat

1 handful of crushed cashews

Method

Soak your dates for an hour or 2.

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Blitz your dates (removing the seed).

Get your hands dirty!  Using your hands, mix and combine thoroughly.   Gradually add dry ingredients until your mix is even consistency.  You don't want it too dry or wet.

Set in a container in the fridge or freezer.  Then use a pizza cutter to cut into your bars.

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MONDAY MEDITATION | The Most Important Words You Could Say to Yourself

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Have you ever really considered the thoughts you have towards yourself?  How do you really feel about yourself when you look in the mirror? Let's all make a shift.  Instead of having critical thoughts when looking at ourselves, let's start to see our great qualities.  Let's feel appreciation for who we are and embrace our quirks.  I can guarantee that others are looking at what they love about you, rather than the flaws that you see.  You're individual and amazing.

xSx

https://youtu.be/6SyYFh0xDUg

MONDAY MEDITATION | Want To Get Out of The Right Side of Bed? Use This.

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This week's Monday Meditation is a quick and easy mindful practice to start the day off on the right foot!  When your alarm goes off, what are your first thoughts?  "I don't want to get out of bed", "urgh, already!?", "the weather is crap today".. the list could go on!  Instead of starting the day with negative thoughts, kick start with positive!  Shift your awareness to the things that are going right in your life, the things that always work out and the things that you may have stopped paying attention to.  By turning your awareness to the things that are going right, you're shifting your mindset into an appreciate one while also activating your awareness to look for other things that are going well. All you've got to do to start the day off right, is think of three things that are going well and that you are appreciate for. Three!  It's that simple.  The key is to feel into the things you've listed and then get on with your day.  I can guarantee that if you use this every day, you will start to turn, not only your morning routine, but your whole day, around.

xSx

https://youtu.be/Z4d4-VJ-Pho

MONDAY MEDITATION | 1 Minute Mindful Breathing Meditation

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Hey guys, This week I have shared probably the most simple mindful technique that I have come across!  All you have to do is tune into your breathe.  Observing all of its behaviour, rhythms and patterns.  The aim is to not change anything.  The more you relax, it will slow on its own.  The whole purpose of a mindful practice is to focus your attention on the activities in front of you, or in this case your natural breathing, in order to calm the mind from all of the crazy thoughts racing through it, to be able to focus all of your attention on what is happening right in front of you (..or inside!).

Calming the mind has profound positive effects on our nervous system, which then send a positive ripple effect to the rest of our body.  Imagine walking into that meeting calmer, clearer and more confident.  Imagine asking that guy out confidently.  Imagine knowing exactly what to say at the right time.  All of that is possible when we soothe our nervous system and mind.

Test it out, it only takes a minute!

https://youtu.be/BtJ5dGfWVcI

MONDAY MEDITATION | 1 Minute "Thank You" Meditation

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Hi All, I finally got up the courage to start sharing meditation videos!  I have had a meditation practice on and off for the past 4 years, and let me tell you.. when I fall off the meditation bandwagon, boy do I notice it!  I am not about getting all woo-woo spiritual with my meditations, I am about having a practice to ground myself, bust through fears and to have a deeper understanding and conversation with myself.  Learning to understand my emotions and where they come from, has transformed my life!  Through a really simple, yet committed practice, I have become more self-aware, confident, calmer, more compassionate, have more energy.. the list goes on.

I will be sharing super simple and easy meditations each and every Monday.  By keeping them simple, they seamlessly become part of our daily routine, regardless of your meditation background.  What better way to learn to meditate, than with an exercise that only takes 1 minute!!

Check it out and be sure to comment below with how you go :)

https://youtu.be/rxQtdTN4VPI

xSx

MONDAY MEDITATION | 1 Minute "In + Out Breathe" Meditation

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Looking for a meditation that you can do literally anywhere.. even at the traffic lights?  I've got the right one for you!! This little gem is so easy and subtle, you can literally do this one anywhere.  You can use it at your desk, on the tram/train, at the traffic lights, before a meeting.. anywhere!  It's the ultimate little reset, best part; it only takes a minute!

Check it out and be sure to comment below to let me know how you go :)

https://youtu.be/pWqa46LoP4M

xSx

How to Stay Positive in Negative Times

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These days we seem to be living amongst information overload.  We have negative news updates now creeping into our social media feeds, terrorism fears, constant internal comparisons to instagram accounts with stacks of followers, we're seeing the current gun violence in the US, we have financial fears.. the list goes on.  We cannot deny the times that we find ourselves living in, but we can take control of how we, as individuals and as a community, respond to them. The truth is, shit happens and its going to happen.  Once upon a time we all knew this, but our current world plasters perfection everywhere and its as if we've lost sight of the real world (this absolutely does not condone violence or hatred of any kind, and it never will.  Those kind of acts must be dealt with effectively.)  Life will always be an ebb and flow, just like the seasons, circumstances will always come and go.  Once we learn to let go and allow nature to take it's course (allow the negative circumstance to naturally subside), we are reminded that everything is only ever temporary and there is always a lesson to be learned, and a greater outcome awaiting us.

With all of that in mind, here are my tips for 'weathering the negative storms' and keeping a positive mind:

  1. Have compassion.  Compassion or those communities effected, compassion for your co-workers, compassion for your neighbour driving you nuts, compassion for the driver who just cut you off on the road.  We must expand our awareness to the fact that, in one way or another, we're all struggling.  That neighbour who is driving you nuts; may be about to lose a parent, that driver who just cut you off; may have just lost their job and may not know how they will pay their rent this month.  No one is rude, angry or hurtful to another when they are genuinely happy in their own life.  Once we understand this, it makes it a lot easier to deal with negative/unhappy people.
  2. Only concern yourself with what you can control.  This one can be a hard idea to grasp, but once we do, it's very freeing.  It doesn't change the circumstance, but it changes your reaction to it.  It's not about sitting back helplessly, it's simply the act of letting outside circumstances be managed by those who have the power to make the change.  Stress and worry wreak havoc on our nervous system, so when we stress that our train is delayed and we are now late for work, we're asking for a morning of chaos; unnecessary anxiety, stress & worry.  Stressing while sitting on the train wont make it go any faster and you cant get out and push it!  So this is where you accept that you're going to be late, let those who need to know, know and enjoy the extra 20 mins you get out of the office!  Relax, your co-workers wont even be thinking anything of it anyway, they're busy reading their emails or trawling news.com.au.
  3. Appreciation for everything.  Even when times are tough, there is always something to be grateful for.  Be thankful for the person who held the train door for you, be grateful for the lovely meal you ate, appreciate your income every month, thankful for the roof over your head, grateful for your loving partner or family.  As much as there are endless negative things we could think about, there are endless positive things.  The more you turn your attention to the good things in your life, the more they will show up.  It is law!
  4. Acceptance of the circumstances.  Accept that crappy things happen, accept that you will move through it and accept that the sun will break and you will find yourself on the other side, wiser, stronger, smarter and with a fresh outlook.

All it takes is one small positive action towards another to have a positive ripple effect.  You may be the reason that person smiled this morning, they may then hold the door for another, that person may then buy their co-worker a coffee.  All of these small action pay it forward for more optimism and positivity throughout us all.

How can you pay it forward today?

xSx

'No Guilt' Raw Choc Bars (Recipe)

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Ok, since learning how to make raw chocolate, I have become a totally obsessed with making clean treats.  Almost weekly now I am whipping something new up in the kitchen because it's just so easy!  The best part is being able to be creative.  It really has become this new creative outlet for me.  I would never haveconsidered myself a creative in the kitchen, but now I am in love with it!  There is no right or wrong, so the pressure is off.  It's so simple to taste-test as you go along (and delicious!) add a little of this or a little of that.  So with that in mind, I came up with this super easy chocolate block.  I think I even did it in 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Half a cup of raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsps of rice malt syrup
  • 2 Tbsps of coconut oil
  • Half a cup of puffed quinoa (or use buckwheat from crunch)
  • Half a cup of desiccated coconut
  • Handful of dried cranberries (soaked for an hour)

Method:

  • Blot excess water from your cranberries.
  • Microwave the coconut oil until completely melted.
  • Stirring constantly, slowly add your raw cacao powder.
  • Once smooth and consistent, add you rice malt syrup.
  • Continue stirring constantly and gradually add your quinoa (or buckwheat), cranberries and coconut.
  • Once even, pour into a lined tray and evenly spread.  Decorate as desired.  I sprinkle coconut on mine, but feel free to get creative!
  • Simply refrigerate until set.

Delish!

xSx

Paleo Bliss Balls

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Paleo Energy Balls These deliscious little snack balls are great for on the go or fun lunchbox additions. Full of fibre and protein, these little snack balls are great snacking items.

Get your hands ready..

1 Handful of Cashews 1 Handful of Almonds 2 Handfuls of Dates 1 Handful of Figs 2 Tbsps of Goji Berries 2 Tbsps of Chia Seeds 3 Tbsps of Coconut 1 Tbsps of Coconut Oil

Using a high powered blender/mixer, blend each dry item into a fine mix and blend together. Chop figs and dates into small pieces and blend into a soft mix.

The key here is to blend (and blend some more) all of the items together.

Melt your coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute (as required).

In your soft mix (figs and dates) gradually add the dry mix, blending as you go. If you find that the mix is not blending as well, add a teaspoon of coconut at a time as this will help combine the ingredients.

If you don't have a mixer, you can do this by hand, by working the dry items through as you go (quite the arm workout!).

Roll into small balls and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

xSx

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Why Saying NO is Really Saying YES

20140716-221903-80343284.jpg We are a culture of people pleasers. We feel guilty saying no, we feel obligated to do what is asked and when it is asked.

We stay back at work when we had dinner plans, we go to that bar when we really just wanted to go to the movies, or we help a friend move when we really wanted to go to our kid's football game.

When we say no to others, we are really saying yes to ourselves. We are saying yes to time spent writing that blog, or going to the gym, or more time at home spent with your kids.

When we say no, we are honouring ourselves. When we honour ourselves, we set a positive example for others to totally respect themselves too. We show the people around us that it is ok to politely say no to something that doesn't serve our highest good. It isn't out of arrogance that we say no to others, it's out of a delicate respect that we hold for ourselves.

But why is it that we feel it necessary to say yes to everything that is asked? Basically, we are scared of what the asker, and other people, might think of us. We are afraid that they might think that we are a bad person, or that we don't care about them, or simple that we are rude. In other words- we feel obligated. But we are none of those things when we say no to things that do not serve us. Are you a bad person when you say no when your friend is telling you to have one more drink? No, of course not, you are just looking out for yourself more than you are looking out for their interest in you.

We also cannot control how other people react. There will be times that someone might take you saying no personally, but know that their reaction is out of your control and it is simply a reflection of their own internal state. There will also be times when those same people are supportive and encouraging of your polite decline.

Saying yes to yourself and utilising your time doing positive and productive things, will help us become more fulfilled people, and who gets to reap the rewards of being around happy and fulfilled people?.. the very people you respectfully said no to!

Now, this isn't an excuse to start being rude, anything but, and you may also require some tact when saying no at times, but know that you value your own needs more at times, and it's up to you to put yourself first.

Take note- no one will respect us more than we respect ourselves. So set the standard for the level of respect you wish to receive and show others that its perfectly ok for them to do the same.

Leave a comment below about a time when you have felt obligated to say yes when really you wanted to say no.

Remember, every smile is contagious, so go spread the good stuff.